“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him.” (Jeremiah 32:1-3a)
Jeremiah had upset the king of Judah with his prophecies and pronouncements. I guess the king felt that if he could not control the situation of Jerusalem being besieged, he could at least control Jeremiah’s movements. Often we we are stressed and can not cope with the bigger situation, at least controlling and containing a smaller one makes us feel better. Such things are important to kings, I guess. But, king or lay person, acting out in a oppressive manner is never a good choice whatever the circumstances. However, just because Jeremiah was confined, did not mean he was really being controlled by the king.
“Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.” Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy; and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.” (Verses 6 – 15)
Hope. When all seems lost and foregone, hope arises and says “Do not despair. What is now will not always be.” This is the flip side of the despair that Lazarus had yesterday; while his life on this earth was not pleasant – not by any means – his life in the world to come was much to be envied. And the rich man in purple did envy it when his life passed from this world to the next.
The king of Judah was firmly planted in this world, albeit in his time. The siege was his reality. Jeremiah, who he thought he had under controlled, showed at the behest of the Lord that what is the reality now may not be the reality to come. Of course, the being and selling of land that Jeremiah was exemplifying was also in the realm of this world. But , if liberty is achieved and confirmed in this world, how much more so in the world to come where the Lord God allows no thing to happen other than than the Lord God’s will.
Those in control think that like King Zedekiah they have all things in their control for all time. But it is not so. There time will pass, and in the eternity that is to come the Lord God will rule. Not as the Lord God rules now, urging and encouraging, guiding and directing through the Spirit. No, God’s commandments will be absolute, and all this is not of God will be swept away.
There is hope. A hope that is greater than any member of humanity can bring about, fulfill or sustain. Place your hope and faith in that, beloved reader. Selah!